When public health interventions are incorporated into a comprehensive seaport security strategy, they can effectively prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality, resulting from natural or man-made disasters. The challenge is to build collaborative capacities through new and renewed seaport surveillance activities among government agencies and private companies to strengthen the role of public health to detect, intercept, and mitigate the potential effects of the intentional or unintentional introduction of diseases. Currently, effective collaborative processes between public health agencies and other local, state and federal partners in seaport security are weak and primarily the result of informal activities. Although seaport security receives considerable policy attention in other areas of risk management, such as radiological detection, public health investments are relatively neglected. Effective, sustainable approaches to building interagency collaboration could prove to be an indispensable homeland security initiative to prepare for a bioterrorism attack or other infectious disease incidents.